This is a collaborative post
I know the other day I wrote about the nightmare that is Oscar wanting to walk on the school run (and really, it is a pain!), but in reality, exercise is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life, as it is key to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is defined as being physically active and working your body at a greater intensity than normal, which in turn raises your heart rate and body temperature, and works muscles too. As adults, most of us would think that this means spending hours in a gym. Children however, can be deemed ‘physically active’ by just taking part in everyday activities, from walking, playing sports and completing chores around the house.
The sooner a child begins to take on an active lifestyle, the risk of falling ill or becoming obese decreases rapidly. We all know that obesity is becoming a huge problem in England, as children are becoming increasingly larger as they go through primary school, according to the Local Government Association. Therefore, as parents, it is our job to encourage our children to be active and maintain a healthy weight more than ever, by urging them to be active frequently and eat healthily every day (with the odd treat allowed of course!).
How much exercise?
For children, aged between five and 18 years old, it is vital for their development to partake in at least one hour of aerobic activities each day, which should be practised in bursts of 60-minute periods. This can really help to strengthen muscles and bones which is important – particularly for young children.
However, if your child is under the age of five and they are able to walk independently, they should take part in at least three hours of ‘light’ exercise per day. This can be split into bursts of 30-minute periods, so you could take your child to the park, to a swimming lesson or even just have them playing with toys – it’s as simple as that!
What type of exercise?
To avoid children from taking part in activities that require sitting down for long periods of time, such as watching TV, playing video games or sitting in a pushchair, it is sensible to introduce your children to hobbies from a young age that encourage them to get up and be active often.
What many parents don’t realise is that exercising for children is much different to adults, as children can complete their daily amount of exercise by playing games and running around in the playground at break time, or taking part in extra-curricular activities. These can include kicking a ball around, playing tennis or hitting a golf ball with Daddy and his Mizuno steel irons.
6 benefits that physical activity offers
There are many benefits of why children should exercise daily. Some of these include the following:
- It helps to strengthen the heart, lungs and bones
- Decreases the chance of becoming overweight
- Helps induce positive mental health
- Increases confidence
- Increases energy levels
- It can help your child make friends
- They can learn new skills
In general, my boys don’t really stop moving – they are constantly on the go. But now that Zach is at school every day, it’s even more important to make sure that outside of that time, he’s getting the exercise he needs. We are always going for walks over to the local country parks and he spends blooming ages on his trampoline every day!